Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Review: Steelheart

Steelheart (Reckoners, #1)Title: Steelheart
Author: Brandon Sanderson
Series: Reckoners
Volume: 1
Genre: Science Fiction, Urban Fantasy, Science Fantasy

A Quick Introduction: It has been ten years since Calamity, a red burst of power  that gave ordinary people extraordinary powers, appeared in the sky. Those with powers came to be called Epics. But they are not heroes. With their abilities came the desire to oppress and rule the ordinary humans. And the Epics are so powerful that almost nobody fights. Almost nobody. The Reckoners devote themselves to finding the weekness of each epic, and then assassinating them. In what was once Chicago, a incredibly powerful Epic named Steelheart has installed himself as emperor. He's stronger than humans, capable of manipulating raw energy and is said to be invincible. Blades and bullets cannot leave a mark on his skin. But no Epic is truly invincible, and David has seen Steelheart bleed. Like the Reckoners, he has devoted the years since his father died, the only human ever to mark Steelheart, he has devoted himself to studing the Epics and planning. Planning to show the Reckoners that they need him. Planning for the day that he will see Stealheart bleed again.

Review at a Glance: An engaging and action-packed science fantasy read.

Review: This was a fast-paced read full of constant twists and turns. I really like the premise of this book. All of the Epics have different abilities, though many are related- the ability to control elements, create illusions or control minds, sometimes together, and all with quirks depending on the Epic in question. They kill innocent people and many seem to delight in the acts of violence. They all seem to seek power. I found the Epics and their abilities to be a really interesting aspect of the story. I just enjoyed reading about that part of the world, even if it was a malevolent part. On the human side, the only true evidence of a resistance are the Reckoners- a secretive organisation devoted to studying and taking down Epics. Every Epic has a weakness, and they exploit them.

David, the narrator, is the only living person to have a hint as to what Steelheart's weakness may be. He pushes the Reckoners to attack, though they generally do not take out Epics with that much power. In a lot of ways, he's the opposite of how the Reckoners usually function. He's aiming for the most powerful Epic in the area, he goes in with a framework of a plan, rather than a plan, and improvises. He's incredibly reckless, but his gambles generally pay off. He's the one who really gets the plot moving since, as effective as the Reckoners are, they haven't been making any lasting impact. He's driven almost single-mindedly by the idea that he is working to get revenge for the death of his father, but I almost found that that hatred didn't come across. He is clearly very focused on killing Steelheart, but there doesn't really seem to be passion behind that hate. It was more like something that he felt he had to do. I'm not sure whether this was the intent or not. He mentions that his feeling and motives have started to change once he begins working with the Reckoners, and I wish we had seen a little bit more of how he lived beforehand, to give a sense of the change. My other complaint would be that there were some aspects of the plot that almost seemed to come too easily- they almost felt a bit too scripted, though that might be related more to the nature of the storytelling style.

The pace of this novel is rapid. If there wasn't an action scene, there was a startling revelation being made. There were very few breathers, bu there was typically a lot going on. In this series, there are definitely some scenes that are quite violent, and there are civilian casualties. The Epics control the military, so the soldiers that get in the way of the mission to kill an Epic are killed, though the Reckoners try to avoid civilian casualties. With the constant danger and action, the book really pulls the reader toward the climax.

All in all, I enjoyed reading this one, and I'm looking forward to the sequel. There were a few minor things that I wasn't a huge fan of, but overall this was still an interesting read.

No comments :

Post a Comment